Kejriwal accuses ED of being "petty", "politicising" his food before court

Accusing the Enforcement Directorate of being "petty" and "politicising" what he ate in jail, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asserted before a court that the food he consumed was in conformity with the diet chart prepared by his doctor.
Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi | Accusing the Enforcement Directorate of being "petty" and "politicising" what he ate in jail, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asserted before a court that the food he consumed was in conformity with the diet chart prepared by his doctor.

The ED had on Thursday claimed before the court that Kejriwal was eating food high in sugar like mangoes and sweets every day, despite having type 2 diabetes, to create grounds for medical bail.

Kejriwal's counsel launched a spirited assault on the federal anti-money laundering agency over its claim that the AAP national convenor was eating food laden with sugar so he can fall ill and seek bail on medical grounds.

"ED claimed that I want to increase my blood sugar levels to get bail. Am I going to risk paralysis to get bail? Whatever food I have is as per the diet chart prepared by my doctor prior to arrest," Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi told the court.

Referring to the ED's claim about the politician eating mangoes, sweets, aalo-poori etc regularly, he said these had been provided to him only a few times.

"The allegation is that I have been consuming mangoes... Out of 48 meals sent from home, only three times mangoes were there. No mangoes have been sent after April 8. Mangoes have been made to look like sugar bullets. Their sugar level (glycemic index) is much less than brown rice or white rice," Singhvi told the court.

Kejriwal has been allowed to have food cooked at home in jail.

"I only use sugar free (an artificial sweetener brand) in my tea. How petty, political and ridiculous ED can be? Their statements are completely false and malicious. Just because you have a lot of influence in the media you are able to publish that I am having aaloo puri even though this meal was sent only once during pooja," he told the court.

Kejriwal, who had on Thursday withdrawn a petition for consulting his doctor thrice a week about his fluctuating sugar levels, moved a fresh plea on Friday seeking consultations with his physician for 15 minutes every day and for administering insulin to him in jail.

"Just because I am a prisoner do I have no right to a dignified life and good health? Am I a gangster that I cannot even be allowed to have 15 minutes VC (video conference) consultation with my doctor? We have had democracy for 75 years but I am seeing such an approach for the first time. Never seen such kind of pettiness," Singhvi said, reproachfully.

“The applicant is suffering from diabetes for the last 22 years. From 2012, he has been administered insulin every day. From February 1, 2024, under careful medical supervision, the applicant was able to start 'Insulin Reversal Programme (IRP)' and the administration of insulin was discontinued. Due to arrest, the applicant was unable to follow the said IRP, and was required to be administered insulin,” the counsel said.

He added since his arrest, Kejriwal has not been administered insulin to control his sugar levels, terming it “shocking” and “alarming”.

“He neither has been able to follow IRP nor being administered insulin to control his blood sugar levels, despite repeated request, leading to alarming increase of his blood sugar levels,” he added.

Singhvi termed the denial of insulin “a grave violation of the fundamental right to life and to lead a healthy life” as well as “a grave medical negligence committed by the jail authorities”.

Kejriwal's counsel said, “Knowing that the applicant would be apprising this court of such cruel, negligent and authoritarian conduct of the jail authorities, in an attempt to preempt and cover up the issue, authorities, in collaboration with ED, have sought to do media trial by alleging that sugar levels of the applicant is rising because of his diet and was being done to seek medical bail." Singhvi alleged the jail authorities had not submitted to the court any document that could accurately indicate what he actually consumed.

“This only demonstrates a serious lack of probity, fairness and the vendetta and arbitrariness with which ED is conducting itself unabashedly against the applicant. This also reveals a blatantly vindictive stance, thereby compromising the integrity of the enforcement agency and manifestly displaying a prejudicial disposition against the applicant,” the counsel said.

The ED opposed Singhvi's submissions, claiming the food Kejriwal was eating did not match the diet chart prescribed by his doctor. It said Tihar jail had sufficient medical facilities to take care of Kejriwal's diabetes.

The ED's contentions were opposed by senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who also appeared for Kejriwal.

"What has ED got to do with this hearing? He (ED) is not a party. It is between me and jail and court? They are having a media trial and press is publishing anything it wants," the counsel told the court.

The court reserved its order on Kejriwal's application seeking daily consultation with his doctor for Monday and directed Tihar jail authorities to file a reply, if required, by Saturday.

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